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Ned Kelly: armoured icon

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Tranter, BK and Donoghue, J (2010) Ned Kelly: armoured icon. Journal of Sociology, 46 (2). pp. 187-205. ISSN eISSN: 1741-2978: ISSN: 1440-7833

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Abstract

Myths associated with outlaws or ‘social bandits’ are important elements of national identity in many countries. Long after his death the outlaw Ned Kelly lives on in Australian culture through various media, ensuring his enduring symbolic importance for national identity. National survey data indicates Kelly’s salience for a majority of Australians, although attitudes regarding his status as hero or villain vary considerably. Younger, left leaning, working-class Australians and consumers of popular culture view Kelly as important, while tertiary-educated, political conservatives tend to downplay his significance. Perceptions of Kelly’s character also influence attitudes regarding his national significance. The lack of foundation heroes in a nation built not only by free settlers but also by English convicts and Irish rebels goes some way to explaining why a 19th-century outlaw is one of the few historical figures recognized by a majority of Australians.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Australian identity, bushrangers, national identity, Ned Kelly, outlaws
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
Page Range: pp. 187-205
ISSN: eISSN: 1741-2978: ISSN: 1440-7833
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1177/1440783309355063
Additional Information: © 2010 The Australian Sociological Association,
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2010 06:47
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:11
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/9849
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